In addition to being an award-winning educator and author, Dr. Swap brings years of experience as a university administrator to bear on issues of knowledge generation and transfer. Building on his deep roots in social psychology, he has worked with a wide variety of professionals, from entrepreneurs to senior engineers. He is our resident expert on group behavior and the effects of leadership on knowledge generation and sharing.
Walter Swap is Professor of Psychology emeritus and former Chairman of the Psychology Department at Tufts University. He was also a Professor in the Gordon Institute at Tufts, which offers a degree in engineering management to practicing engineers and scientists. Dr. Swap served for nine years as the Dean of the Colleges, responsible for all aspects of undergraduate academic life at Tufts. He earned his bachelor's degree at Harvard and his Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Swap's professional life has been divided among teaching, research, and administration. He has taught courses in social psychology, research methods and psychometrics and has received two awards for teaching excellence. He was a founding member of the university's innovative Center for Decision Making, where he introduced undergraduates to the complexities of choice and group dynamics, and conducted workshops for midlevel managers from a variety of industries. As dean, he developed centers and programs promoting excellence in teaching, undergraduate advising, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary education.
Dr. Swap is the author, with Dorothy Leonard, of When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups (1999) and Deep Smarts™: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom (2005). In 2014, he co-authored a field–based managerial guide as a follow–up: Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company's Deep Smarts (also published by Harvard Business Publishing). Among Dr. Swap's other publications are Group Decision Making (1984), numerous book chapters, and articles in professional journals, including The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, his articles cover such topics as group dynamics, attitude change, personality measurement and theory, altruism, and aggression. Dr. Swap is also a runner, gardener, pianist, singer, and composer.